Living & Giving Locally

The volunteer team poses for a group shot at Campbell Creek estuary.
The Alaska Community Foundation volunteer team poses for a group shot.

The buzz of excitement permeated throughout the air and spilled out into the hall. Today was going to be a great day.

Normally, a quiet office, this Friday was light years away from the normal. The only sound to be heard was the furious clacking of keys and the shuffling of papers. You could have heard a ptarmigan sigh.

Everyone was intent on completing their assignments as quickly and efficiently as possible. Nobody wanted to be late for our Friday “date”.

Noon came and went and the clacking continued. As 1 p.m. rolled around, Vik walked through the office passing out pieces of paper, reminding everyone that the carpool left promptly at 1:40. The sound of office chairs sliding against the carpet rose to a roar as staff members went to change their clothes. Our professionally dressed office turned into carhart-clad Alaskans in mere minutes.

The crew surveys Campbell Creek estuary.
The crew surveys Campbell Creek estuary.

We arrived at the Campbell Creek Estuary trailhead in record time. A wildlife habitat and natural wetland, the estuary will offer locals an opportunity to step out into the wilderness of Alaska because of a conservation easement. A perfect place to take a quiet stroll, the natural trails needed for such an activity had yet to be constructed. That’s where we came in. Our job that Friday: to move gravel from one place to another.

An unglamorous but needed job, the Anchorage Park Foundation and Great Land Trust surprised everyone with snacks, water and wheelbarrows. The afternoon was spent reminding ourselves of why our work of connecting people who care with causes that matter is so very important. At the end of the day, we all stepped back to enjoy the fruits of our labor with a guided tour of the beautiful habitat outside our doors.

Candace Winkler and Jessie Menkens take a break from their work.
Candace Winkler and Jessie Menkens take a break from their work.

Of course, our few hours of hard work only added to the contributions of dozens of other community groups, businesses and the Youth Employment in Parks program. As we stood there, enjoying the beautiful scenery, we took great pride in having lent a hand to protect a natural wetland for everyone to enjoy today and tomorrow.

Giving of time to causes that matter means more than the free t-shirt or accolades we receive. It means making an impact collectively and individually. Being a leader in philanthropy doesn’t just mean celebrating the charitable contributions donors make. It also means championing the time and talent we all commit to making Alaska a better place.

Celebrate Alaska by living and giving locally.

The Alaska Community Foundation cultivates, celebrates and sustains all forms of philanthropy by connecting people who care with causes that matter. For more information, visit our website at

The Alaska Community Foundation partners with donors and communities to improve the quality of life for all.

Their website is

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